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Sham divorce
April 3, 2023


Sham divorces, sadly, are a common type of immigration fraud.  A “sham divorce” occurs when a couple enters divorce proceedings for the sole purpose of circumventing the visa preference system.  Motivated by a desire to immigrate as an unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. resident or a U.S. citizen, the spouses in a sham divorce make false statements under oath that their relationship has ended when, in fact, it has not changed at all.  Sadly, too many families attempt this shortcut and suffer negative consequences, which include violating the law and receiving visa ineligibilities that prevent the family members from entering the United States.

We encourage you to always use the correct visa category for your situation and to comply with immigration laws when applying for residence in the United States.  While this may mean waiting a little longer, your process will be safer, you will maintain your integrity, and your immigrant (residence) visa can be approved without problems.

The U.S. Embassy uses several resources to prevent fraud, including tips from the community.  If you are aware of any U.S. immigration fraud, including a sham divorce, please report it to our email (fraude@state.gov). Following the law will protect us all.

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